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Peter Hammill - Enter K CD (album) cover


Peter Hammill

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3 stars Another review-less pH gem...This would get easily 4 stars, if it wasn't for the prog-factor, no, sorry to disappoint, this is not prog in the conventional sense, it's not conventional Rock/Pop either, but in my understanding of progession in Rock or music herself this should qualify for an addition. The opener 'Paradox Drive' is indeed a straight forward 'rocker', but never boring or without imagination, indeed the Rock-Party gets a good-look-at: "I've checked the twenty-four hours, I've done the stay-up-all-night, in a certain way that's power but it's not wired up right". 'Accidents' is a heavy keyboard track and so full of sharpness, the guys from Depeche Mode would wet their pants to. "He's raising his sense of occasion to the limit", yes, Hammill is just doing that in 'The Great Experiment' and yes, he rocks again. The listener gets a respite with 'Don't tell me', but does he? Read the lyrics (always read the lyrics when you listen to pH) and you find that this apparent love song is anything but. Come the 'Happy Hour' we might not be that happy anymore (psyche-wise that is), but it's a towering track, where the soring guitars take over the keyboard part (there none on this one!), and hey, there's even a spanish sounding part - Hammill gone Worldmusic? Far from it. "I've rehearsed it so I carry on until I wind up on the floor"...the floor is miles away from pH on the track, so don't worry: "My friends at the bar...they'll toast me on my way to the underground". Indeed, Peter, we still toast you, on your way to a most brilliant covery! (For all you you not in the know, Hammill had a heart-attack last Xmas but is performing again...The Man just won't lie down!)
Report this review (#17845)
Posted Friday, October 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Peter Hammill said that He handle "Enter K" and "Patience" as a entirety and I think He was a quite right. Both albums are very comparable in many aspects, so I'm really astonish in the fact, that "Patience" is a much popular LP. Just take a look at the songs like "The unconscious life" and "Don't tell me" very similar in the feeling to "Labour of love", and "Just good friends" which are from the "Patience". Moreover, sharp vocal and rock compositions are representative to both albums (LP's are played by the same people). One point which makes "Enter K" less album is maybe starter "Paradox drive", but it's not a quit bad song after few time, when you listen to it. Perhaps, for many people bad impression stays for longer, and they will not repeat to this interesting LP.
Report this review (#47963)
Posted Friday, September 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album opens rather strangely. Paradox Drive is probably the popiest song written by Peter so far. The song features a funky groovy mood like."Talking Heads" in the late seventies. Surprising. Maybe a paradox.

But the dark and serious Hammill is back with another jewel and so classic song. Jackson is of course of great assistance in this VDGG effort. Nicely balanced between some fine piano lines and subtle sax. Nothing violent or chaotic here. This is more in line with the "Still Life" period. Unconsciously or not, this is a great VDGG song. A highlight IMO.

With all his mates back (except Banton), more moods of the band are available (and I won't complain). Although short, "Accidents" holds lots of ingredients of a VDGG piece of work. Heavy sounds, tortured Peter and even if the structure is simple, this song features a powerful and impressive finale.

The hectic "Great Experiment" has this hopping style of the "Heads" again. The similarity is even reinforced by the vocal part which, at times, reminds me the style of Byrne. This album is really good so far and "Don't Tell Me" is absolutely on par. It is thanks to such piece of music that I praise the man so much. Absolutely moving and passionate.

And it is not the immaculate beauty of "She Wraps It Up" that should change my mind. Of an easier approach, it still offers these so typical Hammill moments. And the best of him, actually.

Now the alcoholic epic. "Happy Hour". Amazing lyrics, rhythm changes (even some fine flamenco oriented short passage) and this indelible VDGG sound. I can't help, even if this is "solo" album, it has so many things in common with the band that I just have to underline these similarities when they occur. At least it is how I feel when listening to such a track. Another highlight but there are no weak song here.

Actually, it is my favorite Hammill album since "The Silent Corner." in 1974. Four stars.

Report this review (#171258)
Posted Saturday, May 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars On Enter K, we hear the new and slightly more accessible direction from Sitting Targets fleshed out with a real rocking band behind him. Almost an entire VDGG cast. Hammill must have drawn a lot of inspiration from working with some other musicians again as the song writing is really superb here.

Paradox Drive is the closest thing to a pop song you'll ever get to hear from Hammill. At least if you would call similar songs like John Cale's Dead or Alive a pop song. What follows is one highlight after the other. With Jackson's leading sax, The Unconscious Life comes close to an 80's reincarnation of VDGG. Accidents is one of my Hammill favourites, perfectly balancing between his new wave experiments and his ever obsessive delivery. Don't Tell Me is one of his great ballads.

The remaining tracks are very good, except maybe for the extra track on the CD reissue Seven Wonders. The next album Patience, performed with the same band, would fully realise the potential that started to shine through here.

Report this review (#252777)
Posted Thursday, November 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Having assembled the K Group - featuring Van der Graaf veterans Guy Evans and Nic Potter as the rhythm section and John Ellis on guitar - to tour material from A Black Box and Sitting Targets, Hammill found that the group were gelling well enough to try them out in the studio. The result is his most band-oriented album since the breakup of Van der Graaf Generator. In particular, as Bonnek mentions David Jackson makes a welcome guest appearance on The Unconscious Life, which gives the thing the air of a VdGG semi-reunion. The rest of the material is more in tune with Hammill's progressive New Wave direction of the early 1980s, with the result being one of his more diverse albums from the period.
Report this review (#573407)
Posted Wednesday, November 23, 2011 | Review Permalink

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